Compared to some other states, North Carolina's divorce laws are slightly old-fashioned. They are also complex — requiring several distinct legal actions to qualify for a divorce, to finalize the divorce, to divide marital property, and to decide questions about child custody, child support and alimony.
The divorce process itself — meaning the formal dissolution of a marriage — is relatively straightforward. However, if the spouses neglect to take the other necessary legal steps, they may find that they lose some important rights regarding property, children and financial support.
After decades of providing legal representation to divorcing spouses, we at the Charlotte law office of Douglas K. Simmons & Associates, PLLC, have learned the most efficient paths through North Carolina's legal requirements for divorce. If you are considering separation from your spouse, contact us as soon as possible to learn about your rights and start developing a strategy.
The ABCs Of Divorce In North Carolina
North Carolina requires spouses who wish to divorce to live separately from one another for one year before they can file for a divorce. Under North Carolina divorce laws, this proceeding is known as absolute divorce.
The law does not require any formal legal step to begin the separation period. However, the beginning of the separation period is a good time to begin the necessary proceedings to decide the questions of child custody, property and asset division, child support payments and spousal maintenance. To do so, your attorney and your spouse's lawyer negotiate on your behalf. If agreements are reached, you may file a legal separation agreement with the family law court, which will generally approve any reasonable agreement. If you and your spouse cannot agree, then each spouse can submit arguments to the family law court, and a judge will issue a temporary order based on his or her own best judgment.
If spouses wish to divorce but cannot agree on who will move out of the marital home during the physical separation period, then either spouse may file a formal legal action with the court — called a divorce from bed and board. A family court judge will review the divorce from bed and board petition and issue a ruling about who should move out of the family home or whether the home should be sold and how the proceeds should be divided.
Helping You Navigate The Emotional Process Of Divorce
We encourage you to use this website to learn more about our family law practice and our team of attorneys and staff. However, if you have questions about your own specific circumstances, we urge you to contact our office to schedule a private consultation with one of our lawyers. Call 704-269-4223 or send us an email.
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